Home Poesy It’s on this flight of stairs.

It’s on this flight of stairs.

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I was poor at Maths
until I met these steps.
Sixty-nine steps.
Yes. I have counted each one of them
as I held my breath
and made steps, one after the other
from the filthy garbage bags at the bottom
through floors of sand, steel, and stone
to the penthouse I call home.

It’s on this flight of stairs;
that I’ve met all peoples.
Beautiful, with infectious smiles
in the wide apertures that are their mouths.
Ghoulish, like they are mourning,
and too frightened to even say “good morning”,

that I’ve heard decibels so terrible,
sensed aromas of food both incredible and inedible,
rubbed shoulders with indifferent girls
whose faces seemed to say “I’m un-gullible”,
and others who glisten with sex,
and I wished were fleece-able.

It’s on this flight of stairs
that I’ve seen all peoples;
Youngsters,
In printed tees, sagging pants, boots,
knapsacks and headphones
with their volume, presumably, turned up,

Loved ones,
Hands across the smalls of their backs,
unlike poor me, coupled up,
and doing things only lovers do.

Smiling babies, watched by tired housemaids and housewives,
making coochie-coochie-coo sounds,
everything in their nascent words just fine.
Their faces I’ve touched, and wished they were mine.

It’s on this flight of stairs
that I’ve met all peoples.
Damsels, I’ve seen, and said “I GOTCHA!”
Only for me to hear them say “mtoto wangu nimgonjwa”,

that I’ve made friends,
and led visitors.

It’s at the apex of this flight of stairs
that I’ve reached, sighed, and wondered
if the other coochie-coochie-coo sounds,
the purring of kittens,
or the moaning of couples
that I hear
are signs of lives unseen.

…………………………………………

Alexander Twinokwesiga
Nairobi, Kenya.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

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